Crudo is Chef-Owner Cullen Campbell's imaginative eatery, serving small plates including his fabulous silky crudos. Phoenix seems to have quite a few restaurants located in strip malls, though it is unexpected to find an upscale restaurant that impresses.
Glass and Vine in Coconut Grove was created by Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, a James Beard Award nominee and winner of the Food Network's show, Chopped, and Grove Bay Hospitality Group. The indoor/outdoor 200 seat restaurant is located in the heart of Peacock Park.
L'Express in Montreal is charming, lively, and, I think, the closest I've found to a true Parisian-style bistro in North America. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, the cuisine is well-crafted – based on creating rich flavours using simple ingredients. It's a great option for a bite after shopping on Rue Saint-Denis.
D Liche doesn't cut corners and it shows, they have really hit a home run with their product. The triple chocolate was off the charts delicious. It was moist, dense, intense in flavour and incredibly rich. It was not your average cupcake, surpassing the many previous versions I have tried. The cupcake "bar" has been raised.
Montreal has a rich food culture which we have enjoyed exploring on our short trip there. One of the toughest reservations to snag was at the iconic restaurant Joe Beef at 2491 Notre-Dame West. We actually had to use connections to get in. It didn't help that it was voted the #4 best restaurant in Canada in 2016.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Art is one of the most impressive museums in North America. I especially enjoyed the modern art, sculpture garden, and Canadian art sections. Worth a visit when visiting Montreal.
The chef has a passion for what he does and you can see and feel it in the attention to detail. How he can create such wonderful food in such a tiny kitchen is a wonder to me. This place lives up to its reputation with great quality food and service in a romantic setting.
My last night in Arizona I saved Chef Branden Levine's brand new restaurant Sel. Each plate we tasted was carefully executed and boasted sophisticated and bold flavours. This restaurant is a welcome change from the casual eateries in Arizona. The Chef's mission is to change the way people dine here, and he is doing an excellent job of it.